Gotcha! Hah! Judging by the outcry from my readers you all fell for my prank ;) Really, how could I leave it there? IT was all a scheme, a scheme I say. Just trying to keep you, my darling readers, on your toes. It was cruel, I do admit. But hey, I felt that one last twist was needed to keep the spark of Stark White alive. And wow, what a response, it's amazing who comes out of the woodworks when displeased. I assure you, I was hugely amused by some of the reviews. One in particular though I believe Kats made enough of an example of them than what was required. Let's just say that hopefully this will put point back into an otherwise pointless', pathetic' and empty' story. I should have posted this sooner. It was done when the last update was done, but I have been having a hard time with my browser. Plus, University enrolments take up a lot of time. *sighs* ah the drama's of being a drama teacher. O.o ohhh that was a pun*cheers* Anyway. This really -is- the last and final installment of Stark White Christmas. Thank you all for the support and encouraging me along my journey. Look out for other romances from moi. I have so many ideas hatching in my mind. Muah! Thank you.
Oh...before i forget...:( I feel really awful about a certain reviewer. Hitomi Lei, if you're reading this, i'm so sorry about your test. :( I didn't mean for you to bomb it. . I feel like I should make it up to you...though I don't knwo how. O.O!!! You could be my beta-reader if you like. O.o :D Email me. We'll figure something out. I owe it to you. ^^;; Sorrrrrrrrrry.
Rating: R (Language)
Stark White Christmas
Christmas day was hectic, as it was to be expected. Usagi felt naked without her Santa hat and cheery smile. The conversation with Mamoru last night completely wiped her smile away.
Probably for the next two months. What could she expect? She had put them into this position. It was completely her responsibility and she would carry it alone. Mamoru would be able to move on quickly, back to his bachelor lifestyle. Back to his streams of women. To his sordid sex affairs.
Usagi stiffened. Why was she torturing herself like this? She was the one that pushed him away. He was going to fight for her. He told her that. He was willing to fight with her. And she could hear the depth of his words. Hear the truth. But she still pushed him away.
The crowded hallways made her feel claustrophobic. She frowned as a small boy on a stretcher was wheeled past her. On Christmas Day? Her life was not as depressing as some. At least she was not threatened with loss of life. At least she had a home to go to. At leastit still didn't help the emptiness in her heart.
She spun around to see a young
intern weaving his way through the crowd. A smile was forced to
"Merry Christmas, Doc!"
"Hey, thanks Tai."
"You know my name?"
She frowned, looking down at the young man before her. He looked so astounded. Sothankful.
"Of course I do!"
She was laughing at him. Why the hell wouldn't she know his name? She did rounds with him almost three times a week. Of course she knew his damn name.
"Ohyou know, it's just that the other surgeons and Doctors don't reallywell."
He cleared his throat, looking around nervously.
"Anywaya few of us interns are stopping by The Niche after the shift for some Christmas drinks. Did you want to come with?"
It was Usagi's turn to look around nervously. She really didn't have it in her to be out drinking with the youngens.
"Uhthanks for the offer but, I really don't feel up to it. I have one last operation and then I'm heading home to bed."
Tai rolled his eyes, grabbing her wrist in a childlike manner.
"Come on. It's Christmas. Just one drink! You won't regret it."
Usagi glanced briefly at her watch and sighed. She -had- to go prep for surgery. She didn't have time to argue with him.
"Fine. I'll head over after this op."
"Great! See you then, Doc."
He was gone as quickly as he had arrived. Darting away to coerce another tired, withered doctor into joining the group at the club.
Usagi sighed, making her way to surgery. It was going to be a long Christmas.
There was a small note waiting for her on her desk as she slumped into her chair after the grueling operation. Naru had long gone home to her family, the hospital was practically empty. Usagi assumed that most Doctors had left their shifts to drink at The Niche.
Usagi took no care as she tore the envelop open. She frowned as a small slip of paper fell out.
It was a flyer for The Niche. She frowned again. There was nothing written on it, just an average flyer with the address of the bar and a classy picture. That was, until, Usagi flipped it over. There was a time scrawled on the blank back of the paper and a picture of two cherries, each wearing a Santa hat.
The time scribbled on the paper was 8pm. Usagi glanced at her watch, it read 7.49pm. Who was the sender of this strange note? She racked her brain. Nothing rang a bell. Who could have been sending her such strange messages? Perhaps if she showed up at The Niche she'd figure out. She was going there anyway. Why not. A little Christmas fun never hurt.
The music was painfully cheery as Usagi slipped out of her coat and scarf. She felt like rolling her eyes and sitting in a dark corner to be one of those cynics that did such things on Christmas night at a bar.
She saw her colleagues occupying several booths towards the back of the club. With a small sigh, she made her way over. Smiling a little fakely as some of the Doctors waved at her.
Choruses of Merry Christmas rang in her ears. It was just a little too cheery for her. She had to get drunk. And quick. A niggling thought ebbed it's way into her consciousness. What was Mamoru doing right now? Had she totally ruined his Christmas spirits with her dismissal last night? She hoped not.
"Hey Doc! Good to see you! Let me get you a drink?"
She smiled down at Tai who was lounging in the booth, he swung his legs off the seat to give her somewhere to sit. She smiled and slid in.
"I'll wait till the next round, don't trouble yourself."
If only it were cool'. If only Usagi's life was cool'. If. Only. She hated the possibilities of if's and what about's and all that questionable bullshit. Usagi must have been pouting. Or frowning. Or generally hating where she was, because someone threw some streamers at her as the ran by.
She was pulling them from her shoulder when a waiter approached her with a coy smile.
"Miss, this is for you."
A red drink was placed in front of her. Two cherries bobbing up and down in the martini glass. A smile drew itself across Usagi's face.
"Thank youwho is this from?"
The waiter smiled, pointing to the bar, but stopping short. He was pointing at an empty barstool.
"I'mI'm sure he was sitting there a moment ago. I'll go look for him if you like?"
Usagi smiled and shook her head.
"No, no, it's fine. Thank you."
The waiter nodded, still staring at the empty stool in confusion. Usagi frowned as the waiter moved away. She picked the cherries out of the glass and wrapped her tongue around one, pulling it slowly off its stem.
"Trying to seduce me, Doc?"
She turned quickly to see Tai grinning lopsidedly. She laughed, rolling her eyes. The alcohol was consuming him, she noted. What was it about the mention of seduction and the taste of cherries that caused her mind to haze?
She was tapped on the shoulder, dragging her out of her thoughts. The same waiter smiling at her again. He slipped a card across the table and winked, sauntering back to the bar. The mysterious drink giver, had appeared it seemed.
Usagi smiled, rolling her eyes a little at the childish games this person was playing with her. This was something teenagers played at when they were visiting underage disco's and what not. Nonetheless, Usagi played along.
She read the card, frowning a little. Only two words were written on it. Along with the same two cherries that wore Santa hats.
She didn't even recognise the handwriting. It was printed and purposeful. No one she knew wrote thatboldly.
Usagi looked about her. No one seemed to be paying attention to the escapades of Usagi and her mysterious stranger.
Usagi attempted to look bored as she turned slowly. She saw nothing but empty booths behind her booth. Previously occupied by the doctors that had left just minutes ago to be with their families. Usagi was about to turn back around when something caught her eye. A white pom-pom resting on the top of the corner booth. She frowned.
It looked as though it belonged to a Santa hat. Usagi turned again, making sure no one was watching as she stood and slowly walked to the corner booth. Sure enough, there, on top of the booth, sat a Santa hat.
She picked it up, fingering the soft velvet material. Another card fell out. She flipped it over, seeing the two trademark cherries and this time, only one word.
And sit she did, still holding the bored look, but dying on the inside. Her stomach began to turn. Who was this mysterious card giver?
She toyed nervously with the pom-pom of the hat. Frowning a little as a thought struck her. Hadn't she lost her Santa hat from the hospital? The one that she printed her initials onto the tag to prevent her mixing it up with the other surgeons hats.
With a raised eyebrow, Usagi reached into the hat and peered at the tag. Sure enough, U.T was printed in blue biro across the plastic white tag. Where the hell had this come from?
Suddenly, a bowl of cherries was slid to rest in front of her. She looked up, expecting to see a waiter, but all she saw was a tall man, wearing a stained blue shirt. Usagi's eyes lifted to his face, which was covered by a rather large scarf he wore. On his head, sat a Santa hat. She tried to see his eyes, tried to recognize him, tried to find something acknowledgeable about him, but failed miserably. It was just too dark in the club.
He had a cheerful voice, too cheerful. Usagi didn't like him already. He looked silly in the big scarf and Santa hat. She peered over her shoulder to assure herself none of her colleagues could see her.
"Have a cherry. I hear you like em."
His voice was grating on her nerves. She didn't want to be sitting at this table, with this man who had stalked her all evening with his novel cards.
"Cat got your tongue?"
She raised her eyes to his, or at least, where she thought his would be, he was leaning back in the shadows now, she could barely make out his face.
"I'm just tired. My name is Usagi Tsukinoalthough I'm fairly sure you gathered that. What is the meaning of all this?"
He took a cherry from the bowl. Slipping it into his mouth with ease.
"Not much, I'm just a stranger who wants to meet you under certain circumstances."
She frowned, popping a cherry into her own mouth.
"Well, you're hardly a stranger, you've obviously followed me around my workplace. Left notes on my desk, stolen personally belongings of mine."
She waved the Santa hat in front of his face by its pom-pom. He laughed. Snatching it of her own grip.
"You should put it on. I feel a little silly wearing this."
"So take it off."
"But it's Christmas."
Usagi laughed at him, slipping another cherry into her mouth.
"I hate Christmas."
"I know you do."
She frowned, how did he know that? How did anyone know that? She only muttered that phrase to herself. Or to
"Cherries are great aren't they?"
Her seemingly permanent frown, deepened.
She raised an eyebrow, taking a cherry by the stem and wrapping her tongue around it. She was good at this.
"I was going to say bold."
He shifted a little too uncomfortably in his seat, clearing his throat.
She could just see a smirk under that scarf. See -his- smirk under that scarf.
"What did you say your name was?"
"I didn'tbut might I be so bold to introduce myself? We are after all, strangers, meeting under certain circumstances."
"What happened to your shirt?"
He chuckled. He knew she was onto him. Knew she had an inkling.
"I upset a woman I loved. She threw a drink on me."
Usagi's back straightened. It couldn't be him. He didn'the didn't love her. She was the woman who threw the drink but he didn't love
"Well you obviously didn't love her too much to have upset her."
He shrugged, nonchalantly leaning an arm on the top of his seat. The scarf came a little loose and Usagi saw a smirking mouth, shadows dancing across it. The play of light was making her dizzy, her quickened pulse making her breathing rapid.
"I love her enough."
"It's hot in here. Why are you wearing a scarf?"
"Because I'm about to take you outside."
Usagi felt tears in her eyes. The voice of this man lost it's cheerful quality, it regained it's usual deep timbre. It was, who she suspected. And he knew that she knew.
Her voice was breathless when she spoke, her cheeks flushing a deep red.
"I don't walk about at night with strangers."
In a swift movement, he had stood, holding his hand out to her. The scarf falling completely away to reveal, Mamoru Chiba wearing a Santa hat.
"I'm Mamoru Chiba."
She took his hand with her own weak one, shaking it with glazed eyes. She felt herself being pulled to her feet. Pulled into his chest. Into his arms. Into his life.
Usagi clung to him, wrapping her hands into his stained shirt. The shirt that she had ruined. Pressing her body to his. His arms wrapped around her body, she could feel his heart beating quickly. Her grip on his shirt tightened. It was all she could do to keep herself from falling.
She could hear her colleagues wolf-whistling across the room. A heavy blush tinted her cheeks. Her tear-filled eyes turned to his.
"I thought I blew it. I thought I lost my chance."
He laughed, bringing his lips to her forehead. Brushing ever so softly against her heated skin.
"You know I can't stop chasing you. It's like I said, I don't know why you bother running, Usa."
She ignored the streamers flying past them. The hoots and cheers of her friends. She ignored their surroundings. She ignored her past, her pain, her relief. She ignored everything but her love for Mamoru Chiba.
Her lips turned to his, hungrily seeking confirmation of him. Of his love. They kissed heatedly, the cheers rising in volume. She felt his hands roaming over her back, her arms, through her hair. She felt herself falling in love with Mamoru, over and over again.
When they separated from the kiss, his gloved hand found her own bare one. Warmth filled her at his touch. Heat pulsed from her body as he stared down at her with nothing but pure love. They walked together, hand in hand, to the foyer. He slipped his coat on and discarded the Santa hat. Helping her into her own coat.
They stepped into the cold together. His arm draped over her shoulder, holding her tightly to his body. Snow was falling in large intricately designed flakes. She smiled at this, turning her nose to the sky and catching them on her tongue. His own chuckle escaped him.
"So tell me, Usagi Tsukinodo you still hate Christmas?"
Usagi turned to him, a huge grin spreading across her face. She launched her arms around his body, clinging to his chest. His own arms fell around her. So snug, did they fit. So perfectly.
She smiled up at him, cupping his cheek in her hand. A chaste kiss was placed on his lips before she shook her head.
"I think, Mamoru Chiba, that I can learn to live with it."
"Just this once?"
She laughed. Slipping one arm around his waist as they made their way in the direction of his apartment.
"Just this once."
"What if I pronounced my undying love for you over and over for the next Christmas' to come?"
She grinned, winking up at him.
"Then I think, Mamoru Chiba, that I will learn to love Christmas, as much as I love you."
Come on now, did you -really- think a hopeless romantic as myself wouldn't end it with confessions of undying love? =P you ought to know better ;)
When everything is gone there should be nothing to fear. This world will not bring me down, because I'm already here.